And Merlin lock’d his hand in hers and said,
‘I once was looking for a magic weed,
And found a fair young squire who sat alone,
Had carved himself a knightly shield of wood,
And then was painting on it fancied arms,
Azure, an Eagle rising or, the Sun
In dexter chief; the scroll “I follow fame.”
And speaking not, but leaning over him,
I took his brush and blotted out the bird,
And made a Gardener putting in a graff,
With this for motto, “Rather use than fame.”
You should have seen him blush; but afterwards
He made a stalwart knight. – Tennyson ‘The Idylls of the King’
What an honest young squire!
How many of us have the courage to boldly declare upon our coat of arms our true intent?
How many of us have the insight into our own behavior and the thoughts behind to call a spade a spade?
Merlin looking for one thing finds another, a little and very honest squire. A middle school kid carving painting his wooden shield and proclaiming boldly and perhaps too honestly what he’s after – fame, notoriety, glory. Fame is all of these things, right? It’s the idea that we want our name known, we want glory and honor from those we know.
We might not be able to declare it so boldly as this kid, but there are quite a few of us motivated by fame.
Which makes Merlin’s act that much more impressive… Stooping down and blotting out the desire for fame and saying that we seek to be of use.
May God do the same to me, and to each of us as we all struggle with the desire to please men over God.
Also, Merlin should really stay away from Vivien. Just saying…